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I wanted to use Scalesenics.com retaining wall kits to make somthing like this.



And



But I am worried that the final effect will look flat and lifeless.

I have heard that weathering powder can take the shine of the paper, but I was thinking would it be possible to lay the paper over plastic brick effect plastic to give it texture?

Tom

P.S. my painting skills are not good enough to just use plastic brick sheet!
 

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I have been experimenting a lot with chalks lately. It might be worth trying a very small amount on the surface as it will hardly show and then you can see if you like it. It improved my platform edges a lot and you can add tones like the brown from brake dust and whites if salts are coming from the bricks or mortar.
Andrew
 

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The final effect is very much up to you. It will depend in part on what paper you use for printing and whether or not you seal it with a varnish as recommended by the instructions. Here's what one section of my retaining wall looks like:-



I have not applied any varnish to this even though I do have a can of matt varnish as sold in an artists' supplies shop. Since my layout never sees the light of day, I don't feel the colour is under threat. The wall is over exposed in this photo which does make it seem a bit flat but under normal viewing conditions it looks fine.

For my current project I am using plastic card but only because I want good "sharp" corners which I don't think I'd get with scale scenes paper. The disadvantage is that I am now going to get the variation in colour that comes in the scales scenes alternative.



I think a combination of both methods is the answer - plastic card for "landmark" structures and printed paper for background stuff. Unless you are photographing a retaining wall in its own right with a good depth of field you aren't going to be able to notice any depth in any case?

David
 

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*** DWBs comments make sense... There is also the point that much engineering brick as used in tunnels/bridges/cuttings was actually laid with flush pointing to prevent water hangind around at the mortar joints and causing problems with freezing/cracking and the like, so in fact almost all plastic brick is well and truly overscale when it comes to mortar lines.

Having said that I also prefer the slight exaggeration of the plastic, but will often sand the surface to about 1/2 the depth with fine wet and dry paper and this also restores a wee bit of the sharpness to the brick edges (which are quite round on vacuum formed brickwork). Whether its noticed by any other than me is a moot point :) :)

It really is not hard to get some nice colour variance on plastic - spray overall with a matt undercoat of gray or oxide and pick out some bricks ina slightly different colour, then use overall washes to tone the differences and emphasise pointing as wanted - its worth buying a couple of sheets to play with - try it, you will find that you really CAN do it - its surprisingly easy!

regards

Richard
 
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